3 Game-Changing Strategies for Breakthrough
Everyone who has lived through this pandemic agrees: we are TOTALLY ready for a breakthrough! We are tired and have suffered long through a season of loss, stress and strange difficulty. If you’re like me, you have a general idea that God is able to give us breakthrough, but sometimes struggle with how to get one.
The 3 strategies outlined here are guaranteed ways to see God move in your life. Put these into practice to change the game and experience freedom and renewal.
One of my favorite preachers is fond of saying, “I’ve never seen anyone who knows how to worship stay bound.” I heard this several years ago and have lost count of the number of times it has come to my rescue. Worship has never failed to shatter the limitations on my heart and mind and set me free. If you need a breakthrough, you need to worship.
Why is worship such a powerful strategy for breakthrough? Because worship brings us into the presence of God and ignites the fire in our hearts for more of Him. In His presence, chains break, burdens lift and the joy of the Lord gives us strength.
Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17 )Worship redirects our thoughts, emotions and intentions when they most desperately need to be redirected. As human beings we are prone to forgetting God, especially when suffering, under stress and with our overly busy schedules. But when we stop and focus on praising God, suddenly everything changes.
I want to encourage you not to miss out on God’s presence- or the freedom it brings- for one more day. Due to the pandemic, you may have not even been to church or experienced corporate worship for several months or close to a year. Don’t allow this to stop you from spending time praising God.
Go ahead and make an intentional effort to worship God in your home. Get the family involved. Turn up the most inspiring worship music you can find and go for it. Be like David in the Bible who was “undignified” in his love for God when he worshipped with all his might (2 Samuel 6:14-23). If you participate in any worship service- Drive-In, in-person or even online, refuse to hold back and intentionally engage your whole heart with God. Make worship your top priority, as if your breakthrough depends on it- because it does.
Let’s not forget that we were created to worship. It stands to reason we’d be so much happier when we actually do what we were created to do, right?
Jesus wants to give you a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair (Isaiah 61:3).
If you know how to worship, you will not stay bound.
GET SERIOUS WITH GOD
The need for breakthrough is often God’s means of grace to motivate you to run after Him. Sometimes you need to feel your hunger so you’ll press in and be able to experience the incredible one day with God that is better than a thousand elsewhere (Psalm 84:10).
Pressing in means you are pushing away distractions and seeking God with all your heart- with an undivided heart that won’t settle for anything except Him.
Pressing in means you push away everything that distracts or keeps you from God and you choose to run into His presence. It means you know He is the only answer and your victory depends on Him alone, so you pray like it counts.
God hears you every time you pray, and it matters to Him. Don’t worry about using all the right words or phrases- the point is to cry out to God for help, and just that.
I had a season in life where I was suffering through a personal tragedy and could barely get through a day let alone try to think of fancy words to use in prayer. But here’s what I did that made all the difference. Every single day, I came home from work, made a cup of tea, changed into sweatpants, and went to my place of prayer. I did nothing else but seek God. I kept the TV and other distractions away and allowed desperation to drive me to seek God with all my heart. I got on my knees and poured out my heart to God. I wept, I pleaded, and I wrestled- I was learning how to press into God’s presence and dig my roots down deep. I found that the Lord was ready to fill me with rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).
I look back on that time period as one of the richest seasons I’ve ever had in my walk with God. It had nothing to do with any skill or perfect prayers. It was simply that out of desperation I ran to God with all I had, and He showed up every time.
Billy Graham said, “when we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”
We need to surrender, pour out our hearts and pursue God fervently.
Getting serious with God not only means spending considerable time and energy in prayer, but also that we are persistent and refuse to give up. Where I come from we used to say “P.U.S.H.”- Pray Until Something Happens. Jesus encouraged us to pray and never give up (Luke 18:1-8) because He knew it is a critical principle of our walk and there are times we must persevere in prayer.
If you need a breakthrough, get serious with God.
STEP OUT IN FAITH
Sometimes your breakthrough is waiting for you on the other side of a step of faith. Especially right now as we are about to see a great deal of change and come into new seasons in our lives, our churches and our world. This is the time to pay attention and look for new things and opportunites God is providing.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). “Stepping out in faith” is a popular phrase with a nice ring to it, but what does it mean? We exercise faith when we say yes to God, place all our trust in Him and go forward in something we feel called to do. Practically this might look like:
-starting a new project you feel God putting on your heart
-reaching out to form a new friendship or reconcile a broken relationship
-getting counseling so you can be healthy in an area of your life or heart
-taking a missions trip, locally or internationally (when travel is possible again )
–giving financially more than you ever have for the kingdom of God
You’ve probably heard of the story of Israel escaping Egypt when God parted the Red Sea, in Exodus 14. Millions of Hebrew slaves stood with their Egyptian captors on one side and the Red Sea on the other. There was a moment when they started to be so terrified that they were hurling accusations and wishing to go back to bondage. Moses responded trying to comfort and encourage the people, but God’s answer was very different. God told Moses: “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward (Exodus 14:15).” Now at this moment there was still a gigantic churning sea literally right in front of them. Talk about a step of faith! They’d come to a place so many of us come to in pivotal moments: either stay in the familiar of what you’ve always known, or go forward in faith into the unknown, trusting God for the outcome.
Israel did move forward in faith (Hebrews 11:29) and as a result their lives were changed forever- from bondage to freedom and the new, bright, beautiful future God had in store.
In her book Unexpected, Christine Caine puts it like this: “We cannot shrink back in fear and go forward in faith at the same time. We cannot settle for our less and pursue his more at the same time. It’s just not possible.”
Faith journeys require so much trust because we can’t see what will happen or how it will work out. The end result is known only to God. But one thing is certain- if we keep saying no and refuse to step out, we are guaranteed to miss out.
If you need a breakthrough, it might just be time to step out and move forward in faith.
POTENTIAL AND PROMISE IN 2021
Friends, I am so excited for all the potential of upcoming new seasons. You should be too. With God, the best is always yet to come. God is the God of freedom who wants you to have his best for your life. When you focus on worship, getting serious with God and moving forward in faith, you’re headed straight for a powerful breakthrough. Let’s live in anticipation and faith and press through for our best year yet.